The Kellogg Company is being sued for its Whole Grain Cheez-It crackers, which not only contain more refined grains than whole grains, but essentially have the same nutritional value as original Cheez-Its.
The complaint, filed last week in federal court by customers who purchased the product in New York and California, allege that the labeling of this product as “Whole Grain” is “false and misleading, because the primary ingredient in Cheez-It Whole Grain crackers is enriched white flour,” quotes Consumerist.
Though the Whole Wheat product does contain whole wheat flour, enriched white flour is the first ingredient to be listed, indicating that there are more refined than whole grains in the product. In comparing the nutritional information for both products, the calories, fat, saturated fat, protein, and total carbohydrates are the same.
The company is being accused of breaking laws against unjust enrichment, consumer protection, false advertising, and more.
“Consumers are seeking out whole grain foods, and expect that when they see the words ‘whole grain’ on the package that whole grain is the main ingredient,” said Maia Kats, litigation director with the Center for Science in the Public Interest. “Kellogg’s Whole Grain Cheez-Its have more white flour than whole grain. It’s effectively a junk food, and Kellogg is taking financial advantage of consumers who are trying to make better decisions for their health.”
Kris Charles, a Kellogg Company spokesperson, tells The Daily Meal, “While we don’t normally comment on pending litigation, this suit is completely without merit. Our Cheez-It® Whole Grain labels are accurate and in full compliance with FDA regulations. We stand behind our foods and our labels.”